Lying on a massage table set-up in the center of a giant pyramid, I take a deep breath.
Surrounded by raw crystals, Himalayan salt lamps and a Tibetan singing bowl that’s literally the size of a toilet, I can feel the spiritual vibes in the room shifting me into a state of excitement and mellow bliss.
It’s my first reiki treatment – and I’m into it.
My reiki master grabs my ankles and scans the energy inside my body.
“I’m a really open-minded person,” I share with her. “Feel free to tell me anything that comes up for you.”
She flows into the session, placing healing crystals all over my body and occasionally numbing me into stillness with the sounds of her beautiful, white singing bowl.
I slip into a trance.
Ideas, thoughts, memories and dreams dance through my mind as she waves her hands over my body. Occasionally, I feel a tingling sensation or a strong emotion.
When I open my eyes, I feel a rush of euphoric bliss and a deep sense of inner peace.
I sit up, ready to debrief and discover more about my self and spiritual path.
She tells me a lot. Most of it makes sense. A lot of it confirms what I’ve known to be true about myself for years: that I have a humanitarian heart and am highly sensitive to the emotions of others.
But her biggest piece of feedback was this: stop should-ing all over yourself.
“You’re carrying around a lot of shoulds, woulds and coulds,” she tells me. “You need to work on accepting yourself. Stop thinking you should always be something more than you are. You are enough”
Her words spoke to my core.
She was right.
I live a beautiful, full life. My passion for constant soul growth and development is a genuine gift. But sometimes my zest for life leaves me feeling small. With so much to see, do and be in the world, I regularly find myself feeling like I should be doing something other than what I am.
If I’m home in Canada, I feel like I should be traveling and exploring.
If I’m traveling and exploring, I feel like I should be working on growing my business.
If I’m working on my business, I feel like I should be out with friends.
If I’m out with friends, I feel like I should be at snuggling at home with my boyfriend.
See how this is a vicious cycle?
When we feel like we should, would or could be doing something else, we are resisting the present moment.
And resistance = stress.
And as stress builds it can cause bigger problems like anxiety, depression and addiction. It can also manifest itself physically in our bodies. I don’t find it coincidental that I’ve suffered from serious tension in my neck and shoulders since my late teens– when my shoulds, woulds and coulds really started coming on strong.
My reiki epiphany happened this past spring, and since then, I’ve made a solid effort to drop should, would, and could from my inner vocabulary. It’s been a process, but one that has seriously deepened my connection with myself and the women I work with.
Do I still should on myself? Yes, but I’ve learned how to quickly shift myself out of that negative state and back into a place where I have the power to consciously create my life. And I’ve been empowering my clients to do the same.
It’s been a liberating journey.
Here’s what’s been working well for me and the ladies I’ve been soul coaching.
1. Practicing Awareness: Like in any transformation, the first step to change is always awareness. We need to become aware of the negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that are holding us back before we can work on changing them. Pay attention to your life, to the voice that runs inside your mind. What is it saying?
2. Shifting: When you notice a negative thought, in this case your ego saying you should be doing something you’re not, you’ve got to replace it with a positive one. How can you shift your energy? Maybe it’s through reciting a positive affirmation, replacing your should with gratitude for the opportunity to be doing whatever it is you’re actually doing, moving your body, listening to your favourite song. Make a point to discover new ways to shift your thoughts and energy and consistently put them into play.
3. Repeat: Practice awareness and shifting every day. By consistently training your mind to move from a negative vibe to a positive one, you gain mastery over your mind. Claim that power.
4. Work it Out: Commit to working through your negative thought patterns and limiting beliefs. Why do you think the way you do? What does that tell you about yourself? Fear and other negative emotions are often a call to action, by exploring them we can get to the bottom of what’s really holding us back and move through it. Journaling, meditation, reading self-help books, coaching, and therapy are all ways to work through your limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns.
5. Commit to Trusting Your Intuition: Have faith that, right now, you are exactly where you need to be. When we feel like we should be somewhere other than where we are, we are refusing to accept the present moment – and that’s where all of our creative power lies. Trust that your intuition has guided you to this moment, right here, right now, because this is where you’re supposed to be. The more you empower yourself to be guided by your intuition, the deeper your sense of inner peace and purpose.
6. Take the Self-Love Drug: When you notice yourself slipping into funky thinking, see it as a sign to drop a dose of self-love. Ask yourself this: what is the most loving thing I can do to support myself right now? Do you need to get a breath of fresh air? Make yourself a cup of herbal tea? Take a long bath? Book a vacation? You’ve got to make sure your cup is full of love and energy – always. When we’re drained, we not only limit our creative power, we bring down the people around us. When you feel depleted, pull back and fill yourself back up.
Are you a big-time shoulder too? Which of these steps speaks to you the most? I’d love to learn more about you in the comments below.